The program was nice. The younger boys sang, some of the older boys sang, one of the teachers shared an important message, and the director of the center shared about what has been going on at the center and a bit about next year. One of the boys moms got up and praised the director and the teachers and said what a good thing we are all doing. It was really cool.
Then, towards the end, the teacher who was emceeing the event, Algheer, asked all of the mualimeen to come up. (Literally means “learned ones.” Its used to include all of the staff who do programs with the boys and not just school teachers). I hesitated for a moment, but he looked at me and said “No, you must come up! You are one of us!” So I went up with the other 4 or 5 teachers that were there and we were all introduced.
Then….Surprise! We get to sing a song in front of everyone too!
They shared two Arabic songbooks. I can read Arabic, but not that fast! So I hoped it was a song that I knew. Nope. Our littlies were sitting in the front and clearly amused that this caught me off guard and I had no idea about the song. Thankfully most of the praise songs here are pretty simple and involve a decent amount of sing-and-repeat. So I caught on to about half of the song. But spent the other half smiling, chuckling to myself, and trying not to look too stupid. Whenever one of the littles caught my eye they burst into giggles. Funnnnn times.
When the program was over I was talking with the older boys and Algheer came over and I said “Thank you so much for the opportunity to get up in front of people I don’t know and sing a song that I don’t know in Arabic!” He laughed, and told me I would be prepared for next time. I said “Yes, prepared to stay at home!” (Kidding, of course.)
I’ve come to learn that at these sorts of events I will never be consulted in advance and almost always I will be called up to share a few words. So I was prepared for that in case that happened, but this is the first time I’ve been surprised with a song performance. At least it was with a group! But I’m sure I added a good dose of amusement to the proceedings and gave these families a good story to tell their friends about. Glad I can entertain!